The final day of the 37th Annual Establishment Day Festival at Pu'ukohola Heiau (temple on the hill of the whale). We made sure to get down there early and even packed a lunch so we could picnic on the beach.
This picture has the heiau (temple) in the background. They have been working on this thing nonstop for the past few days, restoring it and repairing damage from the earthquake in 2006. FYI: Visitors arent allowed inside the temple grounds, only native Hawaiians practicing religious ceremonies. They do have a visitors center for all the haoles!
All the stones are set without any mortar (the wall narrows towards the top) and historians speculate that the stones were passed by hand down a chain of thousands of workers from as far away at Pololu Valley (30+ miles)! King Kamehameha built the heiau in order to fulfil a prophesy that said if he built a temple to the war god Ku at this spot in Kawaihae, he would gain full control of Hawaii and unite all the islands. And he did. So it must have worked!
Also highlighted in this picture is the haku lei I made out of ferns and a'ali'i flowers. Basically, you take a ti leaf and wrap raffia around it to secure the flowers. Sounds simple but its not ...and for awhile there I was getting nervous that lei making was not in my future!
Heres the canoe, seen from the hill.
This is what the ipu (gourd) looks like before its been cleaned, polished, etc. Theres a picture of a finished gourd in my previous post.
Heres Mr A learning about his heritage by getting a lomi lomi massage. Anything for cultural preservation, right?!
Braddah Kama (man with the apron - he teaches at Waimea Middle School with Mr A) sharing the mana'o (knowledge) of coconut frond weaving. Isnt my little basket cute?! Perfect place to put my keys!
Next year is the bicentennial of the Kingdom of Hawaii and I heard that the festival is going to be off the chain. Entertainment, hula, crafts, activities, booths, games, possibly even a battle reenactment! So if you are planning on coming to the Big Island next year and you want something super fun and free to do - come in mid-August!